Top 10 Best Online Non Profit Colleges of the Future

Online universities have been experiencing major growth in the last 10 years. Did you know that in 2006, just two million or so students took classes online? Today it is more than 10 million. It also is estimated that at least one out of three college students has taken online classes before.

Thus, it is entirely expected that there has been an increase in online colleges and universities. This is largely due to the fact that earning a college degree online allows you to attain your college education without leaving your home, for the large part.

Online universities vary in quality; some experts believe that the best online colleges are non-profits; that is, their online university is an extension of their non-profit, campus based university that has been around for decades or longer.

If you are thinking about earning an online bachelor’s or master’s degree, you would be well served to take a closer look at these 10 online, non-profit colleges with an outstanding reputation for quality:

#1 Penn State University World Campus

Penn State University’s World Campus has been in existence for nearly 20 years, and is one of the highest regarded online universities in the world. The online version of Penn State currently features 120+ online degree programs that lead to many different bachelor’s and master’s programs.

Penn State offers bachelor’s degrees online in:

  • Business
  • Criminal Justice
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • International Politics
  • Marketing
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Law and Society

Master’s programs online include:

  • Accounting
  • Health Policy and Administration
  • Educational Leadership
  • MBA
  • Finance
  • Statistics
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Public Administration
  • Special Education

Penn State’s online campus has more than 10,000 students located all over the world. After you are first admitted to the university, you then must be accepted into your desired college. All online students will receive the same quality of instruction from the same professors who teach on campus.

All students also have complete access to academic advisors and career services, just like campus-based students.

Penn State University’s online campus is fully accredited from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

#2 Arizona State University

Arizona State University is the largest public college in the US, with nearly 100,000 students in 16 schools and colleges. It has been offering dozens of online degrees for the last 15 years.

ASU currently offers at least 90 bachelor’s and master’s programs online, as well as at least 12 certificate programs. Online degree offerings for both bachelor’s and master’s programs include:

  • Business/MBA
  • Nutrition
  • Nursing
  • Education
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Finance
  • Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Public Administration
  • Public Health

All ASU online students have full access to academic advisors, success mentors and enrollment counselors. Most online programs offer starting dates six times per year. The majority of online degree programs offer asynchronous programs, meaning that you can finish your classes on your own schedule. Only a few online programs have a set class schedule that requires your attendance at a specific time.

The Higher Learning Commission has given accreditation to Arizona State University for many decades.

#3 Drexel University

Drexel University is a private research university that was founded in 1891, and it currently offers more than 200 undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university has approximately 25,000 students that attend at least a dozen schools and colleges on the main Philadelphia PA campus.

Currently, Drexel University Online awards bachelor’s degrees in:

  • Business
  • Criminology
  • Computer science
  • Psychology
  • Nutrition

It also awards at least 60 master’s programs in the following fields:

  • Clinical Research
  • MBA
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Information Science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Communication
  • Nursing
  • Health Administration

Drexel University is accredited by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education.

#4 University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida has 200 degree programs among its 24 campuses around Florida. It also features dozens of online degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s level.

The University of Central Florida has been offering online degree programs for 20 years, and it has a strong reputation for providing the highest quality online degree programs for those who cannot attend the Orlando campus.

Some of the most popular online master’s degrees include:

  • Digital Forensics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Healthcare Systems Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Educational Leadership
  • Career and Technical Education

The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#5 Liberty University

Liberty University has been one of the leading online universities for 30 years. Currently, the university has more than 100,000 students that are either enrolled on campus or online. At this time, Liberty University offers more than 250 online degree programs that include:

  • Business
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Information Technology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Elementary Education
  • Human Services
  • Public Policy
  • Teaching
  • Marketing
  • Sport Management
  • Cyber Security
  • Accounting

Liberty is a common choice for many professionals who want to earn their degree online, because there are so many degree options available. And, you can study on your own time, and the tuition is some of the most affordable in the US.

Liberty University Online features classes online that are generally eight weeks in length. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#6 University of Alabama-Birmingham

The University of Alabama-Birmingham has more than 18,000 students all over the US, and it offers more than 50 online programs for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

UAB eLearning offers easy access to fully online and blended degree programs that are simply an online extension of its traditional offerings on campus.

The majority of these programs can be completed mostly online. However, some program do require an on campus orientation. You should check the specific degree program at UAB for more information.

Some of the most popular online master’s programs are in:

  • Health Education
  • Engineering
  • Accounting
  • MBA
  • Nursing
  • Public Health
  • Sociology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Management Information Systems

The university is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#7 University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota is well known for offering a wide array of affordable, online master’s and bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 fields.Some of the bachelor’s degree programs that are available are:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Communication
  • Psychology
  • Nursing

Meanwhile, graduate students have a very robust selection of master’s programs they can select:

  • Nursing
  • Physician Assistant
  • Elementary Education
  • Engineering
  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • Forensic Psychology

Some of these programs are fully self paced and can be taken on your schedule. Others will require you to take classes on a set schedule.

UND is one of the top research universities in the US for doctoral research, and is just one of 48 public universities in the US with graduate schools for both law and medicine. Also, on average, the cost of yearly tuition is $4000 less than most other universities in the US.

The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#8 Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University is a top public college located in Kansas, and it currently has 11,200 students enrolled both online and on campus. It also offers 80 different majors for undergraduate programs.

On the online university side, it offers 40 online degrees through the Virtual College. All of the programs online are taught by the same professors that teach on campus. The most popular master’s degrees include:

  • Health and Human Performance
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nursing Education
  • School Psychology
  • Counseling
  • MBA
  • Education
  • Education Administration
  • History

A major benefit of this university is that tuition is only $207 per credit hour for bachelor’s programs, and $272 for master’s programs.

This university is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#9 University of Florida

The University of Florida has more than 50,000 students that are enrolled online and on campus. At this time, the university offers more than 300 bachelor’s and master’s programs. The university also has 16 colleges and 150 research centers and institutions.

The university has been doing online degree programs for nearly 20 years, and it offers distance learning students many excellent support services:

  • Online course management system
  • Excellent online library resources
  • Career services that help you to get a job before you graduate

Popular degree programs are in the following fields:

  • Computer Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Public Health
  • Reading Education
  • Special Education

The University of Florida is also one of the biggest research universities in the US. It is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#10 UMass Online

The University of Massachusetts has more than 71,000 students on five campuses, and it has had an excellent online university for more than 25 years.

UMass Online offers more than 30 bachelor’s degree programs, and more than 140 master’s programs. Online students will receive the same education online as they do on campus, and the programs are taught by the same instructors. It also offers more than 1500 classes online, if you are only interested in earning a certificate in your area of study.

The university is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Each of the above online universities offer a broad array of bachelor’s, master’s and certificate programs that are sure to offer you a program that appeals to your personal and career interests.

Written by Melissa Hart
Melissa Hart is HealthGrad.com's Special Features Editor. She has over 8 years of career guidance experience in the healthcare field and continues to mentor students and young adults today.

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